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Trigeminal Neuralgia
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Trigeminal neuralgia

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Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve) that causes episodes of sharp, stabbing pain in the cheek, lips, gums, or chin on one side of the face.

These painful attacks can be spontaneous, but they may also be provoked by even mild stimulation of your facial region, including brushing your teeth, shaving or putting on makeup. The pain may occur in a fairly small area of your face, or it may spread rapidly over a wider area.

Because of the variety of treatment options available, having trigeminal neuralgia doesn't necessarily mean you're doomed to a life of pain. Doctors usually can effectively manage the condition, either with medications or surgery.

Signs and symptoms

An attack of trigeminal neuralgia can last anywhere from a few seconds to about a minute.

Some people have mild, occasional twinges of pain, while other people have frequent, severe, electric-shock-like pain. Some people who may initially experience short, mild attacks may experience a quick progression in the condition, with longer, more frequent episodes of jolting, piercing pain.

People who have experienced severe trigeminal neuralgia have described the pain as:

  • Lightning-like

  • Shooting

  • Jabbing

  • Like having live wires in your face

It's possible for the pain to occur on both sides of your face, but trigeminal neuralgia usually affects just one side. The pain may affect just a portion of one side of your face, or the pain may spread in a wider pattern.

The condition also tends to come and go. You may experience attacks of pain off and on all day, or even for days or weeks at a time. Then, you may experience no pain for a prolonged period of time.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:31 AM